Best 512mb AGP video card for my system?


I'm currently using a 2004 Q-Tech machine running XP SP3.

It's maxed out at 2gb ram (DDR) and has an Intel Celeron D processor (socket 478).

My current video card is a Radeon 9550 256mb.

My motherboard is an Epox SIS 661fx.

What is the safest bet for upgrading the Video card to a 512mb model?

Will there be much difference, performance wise?

Thanks in advance.
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More about best 512mb video card system
  1. What's your max budget?
  2. Blah AGP. I would say this is the best you can do

    Axle3D Nvidia GeForce 7950 GT 512MB $118.95

    Even that would be a bit limited by your CPU. If your board is a true 8x AGP (though some Epox boards have a problem with this) you can go with this for a lot less

    Sure the 3850 is alot faster, but in your slow system it will preform about the same as the above card. AGP Radeon cards are a bit more difficult to get to work.
  3. Thanks for the reply.

    How can I tell if my board is a true 8xAGP?

    The main issue I have is budget. I don't really want to spend more than $50 (on ebay) but I'm more concerned about compatibilty with my chipset.

    It will irritate me if I have to go the trial and error route.

    Also, what era games can I expect to work well after the upgrade?

    My current system won't even play the first "Colin McCrae Dirt".

    And, finally, why are Radeon cards difficult to get to work?

  4. First off Radeon cards newer than the X850 are not designed to work in AGP though they can be made to do with with the bridge chip that was used on X800 and X850 series cards. Thus drivers made latter need an AGP hotfix and AMD doesn't put too much effort into supporting that hotfix to be honest. The official AMD drivers also only work on HD 2000 and up cards so AGP X1900 series cards are left with much older hotfix drivers though I guess that's not an issue here :p.

    For $50, I would try going for the 3850. Your board is 4x/8x so it should work, but like I said epox was a little lax in their board design towards the end of the companies existence. This started around the time they produced P4 boards. I found this out the hard way when I installed a Radeon 8500 in an 8KHA+ and it damaged the board and crippled performance. Just google the board and see if there are threads stating problems with the slot and high powered cards to see if it was made when epox was getting better (right before they closed down), or if it has those problems.

    If you want problem free and stay under $50 you need to get something alot weaker than that 3850. You're looking at probably looking at 7600AGP or 6800AGP cards with 256MB like this

    You could also choose to look for good ol X800/850 parts, and while those would be twice as fast as your current cards you wouldn't have shader model 3.0 (they are limited to 2.0b) so even if they technically have the power to run some games in lower detail they won't run them if the game expects 3.0 and doesn't have a 2.0b code path (which most newer games don't).
  5. By the way, if you go with the Radeon card, make sure you have a decent 450 or 500W PSU.
  6. "HotFix" Is easy to find and install beyond the initial shock (desktop may be 256 colors, new hardware wizard can not find the drivers, etc.)

    $50 bucks need a luck on the auction, search for a 3650 or 4650 too. Are cheaper, less power hungry and easier to find.

    For that rig will get most games work at 1024*728 including dirt.

    8X and 4X are compatible since both are 1.5 volts. 4X are more late 90´s than 2004; I would not worry in that particular issue. You MAY have a faulty component that can spoil your fun but realy there is no way to know except doing it.

    Once in ebay search for a 478 processor with 800 front bus and HT . Is dirt cheap and makes a HUGE difference. The risks is your ram may not run at 200hz (DDR 400).
  7. Cool, thanks for that.

    As a final question, which Card do you think would complement (as opposed to push to the limit) my system best?
  8. Probably a 6800GT or a 7600GT. Hard to find them with 512MB at a reasonable price, but 256MB is really enough for those cards. Settings that benefit from that much vRam are generally a bit beyond their capabilities anyway. I'd say that you should be fine playing older games from around 2005-2006 and high or medium settings (up to 1280x1040 or 1440x900) though games newer than that would have to be running at lower settings. Crysis would probably run at the lowest settings though your CPU might cause some big dips.
  9. As for your chosen game Colin McCrae Dirt it would benefit from having a faster card like an X1900 or 7950GT. Even so a 6800GT/GS or 7600GT would probably do a little better than minimum if you overclock them them. I'd also recommend overclocking that Celeron :D.
  10. Ok. I've always been a bit cautious about overclocking and have never tried it.

    Any tips?
  11. Your cpu is just too weak and you can upgrade to a better cpu for that socket for under $10 after ship that will butter things up a little bit. As for the card don't settle for any thing less than a 7800gs for nvidia as far as agp is concerned. The other options are a 3850 agp or a 4650/70 agp. The best but extremely rare is a 3870 agp but those were only made in small numbers.

    As for the 7800 gs I recently got one for one of my retro builds for only $24.95 ;) and its BFG :D
  12. IMO you can go wrong with any of the cards mentioned here because your current (or future) CPU limits.

    I recomend 3650/4650 because are in line with your budget and in XP are as fast as the 6800 or 7600 AND can decode 1080p movie files flawless in that rig.I have one box, exactly this setup just with a HT prescott.

    the more powerfuls 3670/4670 are in line with x1900 or 7xxx because your rig limit you and not need a new PSU.

    Anything more powerfull will be a overkill, those pair better with Pentium D or Core 2 Agp Mobos.

    As for overclock the Celeron D in 478 version came with low (for the time) multipliers 16,17 and 18 (2.1,2.3 and 2.4 Ghz) all undeclocked for a presscott native 2.8 Ghz core.

    Those Celerons where capped not crippled making a great overclocker, almost granted to work.You will be limited only by your ram speed. CPU-Z is a tool for know that is the manofacturer rated speed. download and run CPU-Z and in the tab SPD read the value for "Max Bandwidth" (133,150,166,183,200) of your 2 slots and choose the lower.That will be bus speed 1

    We need to know the multiplier of your cpu so in CPU-Z "CPU" tab here is a field called "multiplier"

    So for 3.0 GHZ = 3000/(your multiplier) = bus speed 2

    compare bus speed 1 and bus speed 2 and chosse the lower.

    Enter your BIOS and search for the value of "Bus Speed" and rise the bus speed value to the one selected; save the BIOS value and keep using your computer and check for hangs ups or BSODs. If you are in a hurry search the Inet for a tool called "Super PI" and run it for a while. Is almost shure your system will be stable.If not just go back a 5 mhz step and try again.

    You can try rising the speed more. Almost always the processor can but not always the ram, a low quality ram may not reach the goal.So this time rise the speed in 5 step increments.

    If your system hangs up at all use the "Clear CMOS" feature and
    reintroduce the last know values.

    If you are lucky and your ram sticks are PC3200 (DDR-400) getting 3.0 Ghz is a piece of cake.Back in the day sold plenty of computers with the celeron D @ 3.0 . None of the customer ever return for a adjustment.Absolutly stable.

    Point is Presscott core was designed and manofactured for ramping towards perfoming @ 4Ghz and the Celeron D was nerfed just for marketing reasons not technicals.
  13. Thanks again for the tips.

    My Processor is 2.53GHz.

    Both my slots are 200MHz PC3200. (Bus Speed 1)

    In the Clocks Core field, it says the Core Speed is 2553MHz but the Bus Speed is 133.3MHz and Rated FSB is 533.3MHz.

    My multiplier is x19.0.

    What value should I enter in my BIOS? 200Mhz?
  14. That Celeron is a netburst CPU LGA 775. Read a Pentium 4 overclocking guide to get started as just about all those overclocking tips apply to that celeron as well. Make sure you read one on LGA 775 CPUs and not one focusing on earlier sockets as overclocking on those is a little different.
  15. megamanx00 said:
    That Celeron is a netburst CPU LGA 775. Read a Pentium 4 overclocking guide to get started as just about all those overclocking tips apply to that celeron as well. Make sure you read one on LGA 775 CPUs and not one focusing on earlier sockets as overclocking on those is a little different.

    Not according to his board and newegg. OP has a socket 478 cpu not a 775.
  16. ^ ah, your write nforce. Was thinking 775 ^_^
  17. So yeah read a guide on socket 478. Hope you can get decent OC out of it.
  18. Will do. Cheers!
  19. I think your ram can handle the OC easy.

    3Ghz = 3000/19 = 157.89. If is your first at OC enter 155 or even 150 to be safe and enjoy your Speed up.

    If you are brave @ heart yo can rise more in 5 step increments just do not panic if the machine do not start ( technicaly do not POST) just disconnect the AC power power cable and clear the CMOS (usualy you need to close a jumper for 4 seconds).

    In theory you can rise the bus up to 200 giving 19*200= 3.8Gz, but you would need a big strike of luck, a flawless core (manufacture perfect, not very common) and a good air flow to cool down else won´t be stable.
    Many BIOS have a preset temperature to warn you (by beeping) of overheating, turn the feature "ON" and chosse the higher preset.
    Just in case it happend when gamming.
  20. Tip Top!

    Cheers! ;)
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